Welcome to another Tim Time’s column. I hope all is well with you and your family? This week’s column is going to be a reflection of a memory at Chalybeate School during recess time. Before I get started and this is my column, I would like to say that school is not like it used to be. Back in the good ole days, school was fun, kids were kids. Now, kids are all about being a number or a score. What happened to the good ole days of school: reading, writing, and arithmetic (math)?
I just wish the kids of today, could experience all the fun times of being at school, instead of having to always worry about passing some test to be able to advance. But, that’s enough of my soap box. I want to share with you one of my fond memories around Chalybeate School.
I will never forget when the bell rung indicating it was recess time. These days they call in PE (physical education) but back in my day, we called it fun time and play time and only the tough ones will survive the 45 minutes of recess.
When I say survive, I’m talking about the ones who can overcome the fastest, merry-go-around in the county, located at Chalybeate School. This blue speed demon has been around since the 50s. It has been located at many different places on the campus at Chalybeate School, but its current location is on top of the hill behind the gym.
When the recess bell rang, we would run trying to beat everyone to get a place on the blue beast. Those who dared to ride understood the blue beast would either cause you to throw up or go home with a scar from the ride. If you held on to the end, you became a real man or woman at an early age, because you conquered the blue beast! This ride has flown children through the air landing on their feet or on their behind. But remember you couldn’t cry because you chose to ride the beast. Also, this ride has caused many people to have stories of how they had to leave school early and go get stitches.
How did this ride work? That is a good question. There would be two people on the outside doing the pushing for the blue beast to get fast, then faster! Then those who remained on the seats had to hold on for dear life and keep in the back of their minds, only the tough ones survive.
Then, how can we forget the good monkey bars? After you survived the blue beast you headed to the monkey bars and held on while you pushed yourself across to the other side. You didn’t want to fall off because that girl was watching that you were trying to impress. Then when you looked down at your watch and realized you had just enough time to move on to the final two stages of recess survival.
After you conquered the blue beast and the monkey bars, you headed to the fastest, slickest, slide there was in the county. I do believe sometimes our wonderful principal at this time, Mr. Douglas Jackson, had to ease down there before the recess bell rang and spray the slide with something ... because once you climbed to the top and sit yourself down you traveled very fast causing you to fly down the slide hoping there was no rock in the sand when you landed.
Then finally, after you have gotten sick from the blue beast, your hands are hurting from holding on the monkey bars, your heart is pounding from sliding down the fastest slide in the county, you made your way to the swings for the final recess fun time.
You had to swing so high in the sky, almost reading the serial numbers on the planes that was flying over while you were swinging. You had to listen to your friends count to “3” before you turned loosed and went sailing through the air. The object of the final course of recess: you had to land on your feet.
After the 45 minutes, recess was over and you made our way back to our classroom. If you survived all the challenges of the recess course, it gave you bragging rights for the remainder of the day, until the sound of the recess bell rang again for next day.
What great memories I have at Chalybeate School. Not only did our principal at the time make the school year fun from the beginning to the end, but you had teachers who caused you to work hard during the week and then surprised you on Fridays with a movie and popcorn to watch.
I just want to remind you that our kids are more than just a test score, they are kids, that need to experience the wonderful times, especially the recess times, I experienced during my school days at Chalybeate.